Dad slipped slowly into the shower
arms braced for support.
Spiny gray hair showed sparse
and random, as warm water
coursed sweetly across
Washing him gently, I marveled, third-person,
at our easy intimacy, this man and his youngest
whose major meetings had been music and poetry,
bike rides and brownies, rarely touching
beyond a squeeze or hasty pat.
Yet here I was sponging his
modest penis, washing him gently
as I did my babies–
Sitting on the plastic stool, his hands
slowly circled both chest and cheek
in the dance of a century’s showers
as I stood at the open door
to receive him, soaked with water
tasting like tears.